On 29th July 2021, MHCLG announced a funding package of £2.6 million to support the integration of BN(O) status holders and their families. This is made up of 4 categories:
Hong Kong National VCSE Grant Scheme
Hong Kong Regional VCSE Grant Scheme
Hong Kong Third Party Hate Crime Reporting Grant Scheme
Hong Kong Educational Resources Grant Scheme
The Hong Kong Regional VCSE Grant Scheme – North West Priorities.
In conjunction with colleagues across the North West, and as outlined in the Regional VCSE Grant Scheme prospectus, we have compiled a list of regional priorities, which can be found below. However, we are also keen to encourage bids that come from groups supporting Hong Kong BN(O) status holders, in particular where these groups identify other needs which come directly from BN(O) status holders and their family members.
As a region, the priorities we have identified (in no particular order) are as follows:
• English language support: particularly for those who may require language support that is not meet by regular ESOL provision, or that has a focus on groups that may face more barriers in accessing standard provision.
• Employment and business support: we welcome bids that consider innovative ways to support BN(O) status holders to access the UK employment market and that support the establishment or development of new business ventures.
• Access to Health services: particularly focusing on GP registration; COVID vaccination access and uptake; understanding rights and entitlements to Health services and support to ensure these are being met; support for older people accessing health and social care services.
• Mental health and wellbeing: we welcome bids that support increasing the provision of mental health services to Hong Kong BN(O) populations, in particular where these offer Cantonese-speaking services.
• Immigration advice: some BN(O) status holders may require immigration advice on a range of topics, including the removal of the No Recourse to Public Funds provision if required. We welcome bids that develop the capacity of the immigration advice sector, or support effective signposting into qualified services for this group.
• Destitution advice: we welcome bids that provide advice and support to people who are facing financial difficulties or destitution, including signposting to appropriate qualified or statutory services if required.
• Combatting hate crime: we welcome bids that increase awareness of the right to report hate crime and support people to report this, as well as bids that seek to increase knowledge and awareness of laws and practice in the UK.
• General advice and integration support: we welcome bids in relation to the understanding of rights and entitlements in the UK (e.g. housing, social care, education); integration activities (one-off or regular); cultural exchanges and the bringing together of communities.
As a region, we are keen to see bids which consider how to support this work past the end of the funding in March 2022, and support BN(O) status holders to integrate beyond this date.
If you wish to discuss any of these further, please do not hesitate to contact us on email@example.com.